Do you believe that dreams can come true?
I've had some jim-dandy dreams come shockingly, unexpectedly, and perfectly true.
And this past Saturday, I added a new one to the list.
After sharing my childhood with an Irish Setter named Kelly who lived the blissful life of a country dog who ran free as the wind, the other dogs in my life have been forced to live within a network of leashes, ropes, and backyard fences.
This is simply what suburban dogs must do. I know it's for their own good.
But I wish, have always wished, that my red-headed sprinters could truly run free.
Especially this has been true of Gracie, who lived the first fifteen months of her life on a horse farm. Oh, I've seen the pictures. She ran wild across acres and acres of pasture land, with her Irish sister, Lily, and a handful of other dogs who all shared Gracie's passion for extreme romping.
And for the two and a half years that I've shared life with Grace, I've felt sad that I can't offer her the same freedom. I've dreamed of finding a way to let her run to her heart's exuberant content.
Then came Saturday.
Well. Actually, first came Friday. That's the day my friend, Jackie, sent me pics of her little terrier, Sweeney, running footloose and fancy free in a beautiful Pacific Northwest snow field. Turns out Jackie used an app called Sniffspot to locate a horse farm in the area that, for a small fee, would gladly host humans and their dogs for a romp session. Twenty acres of fenced-in freedom, all for my dog to enjoy.
I signed Gracie up for the very next day.
I don't know who had more fun, Gracie or me. Or my fourth-born, who joined us.
Probably it was a three-way tie. See for yourself.
^ To see my dog this far apart from her humans brings joy to my heart. Every now and then, even a dog needs some space.
^ And since our human pockets were stuffed with treats, Gracie was happy to come whenever she was called.
^ Towards the end of the hour, my girl was pretty well played out.
^ But that was only after endless hijinks...
^ and a few cool-down sessions in the slushy wet snow.
^ We all had a lot of fun playing hide-and-seek among the trees. Guess who did most of the seeking.
^ We really put some miles on our girl's odometer by standing at opposite ends of the arena, and calling her back and forth. Again, treats in pockets peg Gracie's obedience monitor.
^ At the end of our time at Dayspring Farms, I had one tired and wet dog who was only too happy to hop up into the car and curl up on some dry towels. She slept almost all the way home.
And I sat up front behind the wheel, filled with joy from my head to my toes, and wondering what I might dream about next.